China has announced sanctions on Nancy Pelosi, United States house speaker, over her visit to Taiwan.
Pelosi landed on the island on Tuesday — the highest-ranking American politician to do so in 25 years — despite a previous warning issued by China against the visit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had reportedly told US President Joe Biden before the visit that “whoever plays with fire will get burned”.
Although the island is an independent country, China considers Taiwan part of its territory and frowns against diplomatic visits to the island.
Announcing the ‘unspecified’ sanctions in a statement on Friday, the Chinese foreign ministry said Pelosi’s visit constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs.
“In disregard of China’s grave concerns and firm opposition, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi insisted on visiting China’s Taiwan region. This constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs,” the statement reads.
“It gravely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously tramples on the one-China principle, and severely threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. In response to Pelosi’s egregious provocation, China decides to adopt sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China.”
As a reaction to Pelosi’s visit, China flew several warplanes, including fighter jets, across Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, announced military drills around Taiwan, and reportedly imposed import bans on thousands of Taiwanese goods.